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Thread: A decent wide for landscapes

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    A decent wide for landscapes

    Having stopped shooting Phase/Schneider/Cambo some months ago in favour of D800e, this is the missing lens for me: I'd like something fairly sharp edge to edge and with great resolution and micro contrast on centre, with no more field curvature than can be defeated by focussing on a distant hillside and selecting f8 (though 5.6 would be ideal) and no strong distortion or CA. it would be somewhere in the 24 to 28mm range.

    None of the Zeiss glass seems to fit (the likely candidates are 'too fast' meaning too much field curvature and distortion) and the Nikon 14-24 doesn't take well to filters. The nikkor 28 1.8g is great but not for distant planar landscapes. The other zooms seem too compromised in one way or another.

    I wish someone would make a landscape wide, a slow (f4 or 5.6) but very well corrected lens.

    Anyone else feel the same or have any suggestions? I've read so many reviews and tried quite a few lenses, but nothing seems to match...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    I'm very happy with my Zeiss 25mm F2 . Really got to use it in Zion and its better than I thought it would be. Some images posted in the fun with Nikon. I still have more to process but end of day I was extremely pleased with my 3 Zeiss choices the 18, 25 and 35 in F2 flavors.
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    I have the 14-14, but find myself using the 24/1.4G more, and also feel it is a great lens on the D800e.

    Assuming you have already considered the 24/1.4 as well as Nikon 24 T/S, have you looked at using a Leica R lens adapted to Nikon...just a thought.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    I hear you Tim. The closest thing I've found is the 24 PC-E, but it isn't as perfect as what you're looking for. But for me, it's close enough and the added benefits of tilts and shifts make it my goto wide.
    Jack
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Thanks everyone...

    The Zeiss 25mm f2 is a lens I am very keen to buy but Lloyd Chambers says that it has such severe field curvature that getting distant landscapes in focus is (to paraphrase him) non trivial. It seems optimised for near to mid work.

    The 24 1.4 sounds great but it apparently has serious focus issues and suffers also from notable focus shift. That would be acceptable if it were nice to manually focus but I have yet to find a Nikkor that can get anywhere near the Zeisses for ease of MF.

    The 24 PCE I have, I like up in some ways, but edges and corners on mine (my second copy) are noticeably a little soft even at f8 and at 50% view and I just don't have th energy to deal with nikon's 'service' again - another reason to avoid the 24mm f1.4. Ai want to buy as few Nikon products as possible. I don't like their QC at either the manufacturing or servicing stage!

    A converted Leica R might be great but so few are deeply reviewed on the D800 and it could be an expensive experiment!

    Maybe I should give Schneider a call and have a little chat. Methinks there would be a market for my f5.6 thru f11 only flat field manual focus 24mm lens...

    ;-)

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Not buying that one on the 25m F2 sorry. Its sharp all the way to infinity

    This report is on a canon FF

    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/713-zeiss25f2eosff
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Here is Rogers take on it but I find infinity at 5.6 or 8 to be exact to the 35 F2

    Roger's Take
    Roger Cicala
    President of LensRentals.com
    It’s really, really good. That should about cover it. Oh, you want details? OK.
    It’s an interesting lens. Unlike previous versions in this focal range there is very little field curvature (unlike the 25mm f/2.8). In terms of pure resolution it’s superb, generating numbers in our testing similar to the legendary 21mm f/2.8. Sharper than the Nikon or Canon 24mm f/1.4 lenses when shot at f/2.0. Sharper than any 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm lens we stock at f/2.0. And that’s both in the center and overall (weighted average) sharpness.
    But there’s a bit of a catch: that’s for testing at middle distances (10 to 25 feet). But at infinity (where the MTF charts are made) it doesn’t seem quite as good (it’s still good, but not amazingly good), so there are probably better choices for landscape work. But 25mm isn’t really a landscape focal length for most people, it’s more for reportage, street shooting, architecture, and video work. For these purposes, at middle distances, I’m not sure there’s a better lens available.
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    Member nikonf's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    When will the newly announced Schneider 28mm TS be available?
    I was disappointed by the reviews of the Schneider 50mm TS lens.
    I need a sharp 24-28mm and a 35mm.
    I think I will go for the Zeiss 35mm f2 for the D800E.
    Anyone impressed with this optic?
    I wish someone would develop a 35mm PC lens for the Nikon.
    They discontinued this many years ago and I really prefer this focal length.
    It would have been great with TILT. Canon had tilt in their 35mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Thanks everyone...

    The Zeiss 25mm f2 is a lens I am very keen to buy but Lloyd Chambers says that it has such severe field curvature that getting distant landscapes in focus is (to paraphrase him) non trivial. It seems optimised for near to mid work.

    The 24 1.4 sounds great but it apparently has serious focus issues and suffers also from notable focus shift. That would be acceptable if it were nice to manually focus but I have yet to find a Nikkor that can get anywhere near the Zeisses for ease of MF.

    The 24 PCE I have, I like up in some ways, but edges and corners on mine (my second copy) are noticeably a little soft even at f8 and at 50% view and I just don't have th energy to deal with nikon's 'service' again - another reason to avoid the 24mm f1.4. Ai want to buy as few Nikon products as possible. I don't like their QC at either the manufacturing or servicing stage!

    A converted Leica R might be great but so few are deeply reviewed on the D800 and it could be an expensive experiment!

    Maybe I should give Schneider a call and have a little chat. Methinks there would be a market for my f5.6 thru f11 only flat field manual focus 24mm lens...

    ;-)

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Very happy with the 35mm F2 Zeiss bunch of images in the fun with Nikon thread
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    I have some Leitax mounts coming for my Leica glass. I will be adapting the Leica 28mm PC and the second generation Leica 28mm f2.8. The 28mm f2.8 Elmarit-R was pretty stellar on the DMR and film, but I will wait and see how it make out on full frame digital.

    I am wishing now that I had paid the extras to have the Leitax mounts sent via courier, rather than by mail.

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    Member nikonf's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Thanks very much, Guy!
    They look superb........even at infinity, which works for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Very happy with the 35mm F2 Zeiss bunch of images in the fun with Nikon thread

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    Member nikonf's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    If I get the Leitax mount, I will have to remove the Leica-R mount from my Leica 100mm f2.8 Macro-Elmarit?
    Will this lens work at infinity on the D800E?

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    I have some Leitax mounts coming for my Leica glass. I will be adapting the Leica 28mm PC and the second generation Leica 28mm f2.8. The 28mm f2.8 Elmarit-R was pretty stellar on the DMR and film, but I will wait and see how it make out on full frame digital.

    I am wishing now that I had paid the extras to have the Leitax mounts sent via courier, rather than by mail.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by nikonf View Post
    Thanks very much, Guy!
    They look superb........even at infinity, which works for me.
    Yea I trust there opinions but results are what counts and they seem very good.

    Here are some Zeiss 25mm F2 lens shots



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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by nikonf View Post
    If I get the Leitax mount, I will have to remove the Leica-R mount from my Leica 100mm f2.8 Macro-Elmarit?
    Will this lens work at infinity on the D800E?
    I would check with the Leitax folks on that.
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Beautiful! Are these from Zion? I love Zion and Bryce Canyon, especially in Autumn and Winter.
    I went there on the morning after the Presidential election in 2008.
    It was 7 degrees and there was a blizzard at sunrise.
    The sun came out and the entire canyon was absolutely beautiful.
    Alas, I had a lowly 12mp Canon 5D, as my 4x5 was relegated to the Storm case, to protect it from the snow.
    Still made a nice 13x19 inch print, though.
    Ah, to return with a D800 and similar weather conditions!
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yea I trust there opinions but results are what counts and they seem very good.

    Here are some Zeiss 25mm F2 lens shots




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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Yes these are from Zion
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by nikonf View Post
    If I get the Leitax mount, I will have to remove the Leica-R mount from my Leica 100mm f2.8 Macro-Elmarit?
    Will this lens work at infinity on the D800E?
    Yes, you have to remove the mount and you should get infinity on the D800E.

    Here are the Leitax instructions for the 100mm APO.

    APO-MACRO Elmarit 100/2.8

  18. #18
    Member nikonf's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Thank you very much!
    All the best,
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Yes, you have to remove the mount and you should get infinity on the D800E.

    Here are the Leitax instructions for the 100mm APO.

    APO-MACRO Elmarit 100/2.8

  19. #19
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Thanks Guy... Those are beautiful shots. Lloyd was talking about field curvature for shots at infinity, like really distant stuff, and when he focussed using the centre, the edges were pretty soft. The shots you post above, I would call mid-distance and one of them is favoured by a curved field lens. How have you found it on far distant subjects?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Really have not shot anything like 10 miles away and probably never would as its too wide for something like that anyway. I can't imagine at that distance field curvature would be a issue unless pretty wide open . Honestly doing landscape work most images are stopped down anyway unless you maybe doing detail type stuff a little closer. These lenses there optimum is like 5.6 anyway. In all truth this is a tough focal length. The zooms are okay but nothing like the Nikon 24 1.4 or this. The only other is the 24pc lens which if we all had Jacks copy we would be pleased. He does have a nice copy.
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Btw I did not correct these shots in PT plugin. Bottom image that back mountain range is maybe a mile or 2 away and it's sharp
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    You should try to rent these . Also there is the Zeiss 25 2.8 but I never shot it. To be honest my theory is this read the reviews than buy it to be sure. I put 20 percent into the reviews. I just have to shoot it to see. That's me though and I trust my eyes more.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Ok, I'm in. I'll order one tomorrow and review it in depth. Thanks Guy. If its great I owe you a beer...

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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    No problem just trying to help. Hope you like it if not you can return it I'm sure
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    I would not rule out the Nikon 24mm 1.4 either. Not sure on Lloyd's reports on that lens, I read his reviews however. I have the 1.4 and have found it to be an excellent lens.

    Very sharp at F 1.8, in fact amazingly so. DOF is limited from F1.4 to F 4.5 as would be expected. I love to use this lens in low light (early morning, late evening) as the extra stops really help in focusing especially with Live view. Nikon's implementation does not buffer out the noise as well as Canon's solution so working in low light the 1.4 does come in handy.

    Not sure on the reports of focus shift. I sure have not noticed it.

    Manual focus is exact. Very good control. Very good tactical feedback when using MF. And I like still having a AF option.

    It's a nice size and weight and the filter size being 77mm is also a plus.

    I have compared this lens to the Zeiss 21mm and have preferred the results from the 24mm Nikon. Especially in the F4 to F8 range.

    It's a good one to add to your rental/try list.

    Paul

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    The Nikon 24 1.4 I agree a really nice lens . Bigger , heavier and more expensive but it is very nice. I had it for awhile but for me I want my three wides to render about the same so I went the Zeiss route which are smaller. It's rated pretty good too.
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    It hits its mark at F4 but does have corner softness if you look at the charts here.

    Nikkor AF-S 24mm f/1.4 G ED (FX) - Review / Test Report

    Ill post the Zeiss 25 also. It hits its mark at around 2.8 but the corners and borders seems much better at 5.6

    Zeiss ZE Distagon T* 25mm f/2 (Canon EF) - Review / Lab Test

    Lets see what the Zeiss 25 2.8 has going for it
    Of the three it's the poorer performer. Corners don't ever get close to center.


    Zeiss Distagon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZF (FX) - Review / Test Report - Analysis


    Now this is all MTF charts and how they perform in field is another matter. But the Nikon 1.4 and Zeiss f2 seem to be the best of the lot. The one thing here and I did some homework awhile ago none of the zooms at 24mm came in as good as the primes.

    Like I said a tough focal length but these two primes are nice in the field
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    On my iPad I can't copy the actual number rating chart to paste here but I think the Zeiss is higher. Question is what does that mean in the field though which obviously is more important.
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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Well this is an indecent wide
    I picked this up on a lark and dragged it along. Sort of my first experience with this lens.
    the Samyang 14, shot at f/8
    uncorrected


    corrected with PTLens

    -bob

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    I think someone twisted you arm on that lens. No names please. LOL
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I think someone twisted you arm on that lens. No names please. LOL
    heck, for that price I would try almost any lens

  32. #32
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Exactly Bob , I felt no guilt at all twisting your arm on 429 dollars. ROTFLMAO

    BTW it looks nice. Shoot more
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Go hit some churches.
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Go hit some churches.
    yeah sometime Fri-Sunday when I have some time off.
    Tripod time if they allow it for interiors. That will be a good test of correction all around.
    -bob

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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Guy

    I found that the Nikon 24mm 1.4 did have some corner softness but once you take it to F6.3 or higher this is pretty much gone. What surprised me was when I compared it to the Zeiss 21mm F2.8. I had very severe corner softness on the example I rented until I got to around F11. I should mention this using the lenses at infinity and relying on hyper focal for near in sharpness. I know everyone else loves the 21mm Zeiss, but for me the 24mm Nikon was a better overall solution especially since I knew I was going to use it with live view in low light. As far as focus shift, I regularly focus this lens in low light at F 1.8 to F2.8 and then set the final aperture at F 6.3 to F8 and I have yet to see any shifting in focus. For me the real key to good focus on the D800 family is the use of LiveView. I find myself always going there first if the shooting situation allows it.

    What surprised me on the 24mm 1.4 was how well it manually focused, as NIkon gives it a very good focus ring along with great control. Nothing like trying to manually focus a Nikon 24-120, which is very difficult to me due to the amount of play in the focus ring.

    Paul

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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Yes on the Nikon 24mm when I had it never focused shifted so not sure what that was all about and yes live view is really nice at least for me, I know many complaints about it compared to Canons but does work for me. I agree on the Nikon I got nice results stopped down. Main reason field testing yourself is the only way as its up to us what is acceptable or not. The Nikon certainly offers the speed and AF. What i did was went 2 kits one for landscape work and one for AF style work. There is no right or wrong here it's whatever works the best for the user. They are both on top of the higher level lenses.

    In all seriousness I buy a lot of glass so I can figure out what works best buying a lens 2 or 3 times seems crazy but I sometimes go back as that maybe the better lens.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  37. #37
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Oh now it's all gotten too difficult again! I was busty writing this morning so didn't place the order for the Zeiss and now I see the newer posts I am all up in the air!

    Summary:
    They are both very similar size and weight according to the specs.

    The 24 1.4G has reportedly soft edges and focus shift but people here who have used them in the field seem to disagree on that and I now learn that it has really nice MF weighting, which to me makes a huge difference.

    The Zeiss reviews as having soft edges at infinity but people here seem not to find that in the field.

    I get Guy's logic about MF lenses for landscape but if the MF action of he 1.4 is very nice, if focus shift isn't an issue, and if it has sharp edges by F6.3 then that's fine by me.

    So: my heart says Zeiss, because I like the drawing and the feel and because Nikon is in my bad books for QC but my head says Nikon because AF is a bonus and because I can then sell my 28 1.8G and use the 24 for travel as a supplement to the 24-120 and 70-200 I generally carry.

    Then Bob throws in the Samyang and I want that too.

    Well, I did ask....

  38. #38
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    LOL now you know what I have to go through on this crap and a lot of others. Its a PITA

    Tim do order that damn Samyang 14mm it distorts like a mother but its a easy fix and very sharp. For the money its too cheap not to get it
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Tim remember there is no focus shift issues on any lens when using live view. You are at working aperture and it will not change when you shoot. That is the beauty of live view and focusing off the sensor. In Zion I used live view on maybe 95 percent of the shots i took as well as Jack did too.
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    You have to be careful here, as I understand it, Live View on Nikon is What you see, is what you get. So in low light you may have to open up the lens a good bit to focus, and get around the nonbuffered noise that tends to show up. So example in low light I will open up the 24mm all the way or to at least 1.8 as it makes a huge difference in ability to focus, but I know that for the shot, I need to be at F6.3, so here you may get some focus shifting if the lens has the problem. If you try the other angle, staying at F6.3 and then dialing down the shutter speed to where you get enough light to foucs, it's again hard as the live view is reacting to the slower shutter speeds. At least this is what I have found in practice. In normal light the Nikon solution seems better to me now as I like the what you see is what you get.

    Here is where Canon figured out a way to buffer out the noise in the lower light focusing, i.e. late at night, early morning etc. You can have exposure problems here too if you don't look at the metering display as the live view shows most times even exposure even if your current settings are not. But again it's a bit easier to me for the night work, and lower light work.

    I really never realized all the benefits to liveview for focus until I started working with Nikon where it seems to be very critical at times.

    Paul

  41. #41
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Exactly Bob , I felt no guilt at all twisting your arm on 429 dollars. ROTFLMAO
    Actually I am pretty sure it was me who put him over the top LOLOLOLOL!!!

    Seriously, for $429, the little Samyang is STELLAR! Kind of cheapish build quality and distorts like crazy, but PT Lens corrects it and focus action is nice and smooth. It is surprisingly sharp even wide open in the corners, and by f5.6, it is pretty freaking sharp corner to corner. Seriously great little lens for the coin.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Tim,

    I found my 24PC-E better than the 24/1.4G I compared it to in the corners, and my 24PC is not perfect there. So my .02 would be go for the 25/2 ZF.2 since you'll probably have better luck overall...

    FWIW/
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  43. #43
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Actually I am pretty sure it was me who put him over the top LOLOLOLOL!!!

    Seriously, for $429, the little Samyang is STELLAR! Kind of cheapish build quality and distorts like crazy, but PT Lens corrects it and focus action is nice and smooth. It is surprisingly sharp even wide open in the corners, and by f5.6, it is pretty freaking sharp corner to corner. Seriously great little lens for the coin.
    Yea but who twisted your arm. ROTFLMAO
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  44. #44
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    You have to be careful here, as I understand it, Live View on Nikon is What you see, is what you get. So in low light you may have to open up the lens a good bit to focus, and get around the nonbuffered noise that tends to show up. So example in low light I will open up the 24mm all the way or to at least 1.8 as it makes a huge difference in ability to focus, but I know that for the shot, I need to be at F6.3, so here you may get some focus shifting if the lens has the problem. If you try the other angle, staying at F6.3 and then dialing down the shutter speed to where you get enough light to foucs, it's again hard as the live view is reacting to the slower shutter speeds. At least this is what I have found in practice. In normal light the Nikon solution seems better to me now as I like the what you see is what you get.

    Here is where Canon figured out a way to buffer out the noise in the lower light focusing, i.e. late at night, early morning etc. You can have exposure problems here too if you don't look at the metering display as the live view shows most times even exposure even if your current settings are not. But again it's a bit easier to me for the night work, and lower light work.

    I really never realized all the benefits to liveview for focus until I started working with Nikon where it seems to be very critical at times.

    Paul


    Paul good trick here get off AF mode go to manual mode and stop down to working than just open shutter dial until you start seeing your image. This way you can stay on working aperture. Okay you do need some light for sure and in low light it maybe really freaking hard to see. Interesting I had my 18mm on with a 7 stop ND filter which you cant see through but I went down to 25 seconds in daylight and i could see perfectly at my working aperture. But yes it does have its limits for sure as you mentioned but have to say this is pretty damn cool.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Tim,

    I found my 24PC-E better than the 24/1.4G I compared it to in the corners, and my 24PC is not perfect there. So my .02 would be go for the 25/2 ZF.2 since you'll probably have better luck overall...

    FWIW/
    Interesting... I can't work out if I have an indifferent copy or poor technique! If I choose a hillside about 3/4 mile away and focus using live view at F5.6, 8 or 11, I can get the centre in focus or the edges in focus, but not both at the same time, though when the centre is in focus, the near foreground on the left and right will also be in focus but the horizon line at the edges won't be. Grrr! Methinks this is classic field curvature. I am sure that if I go and do a real controlled experiment on that hillside at all main apertures and with careful focus bracketing, I will find a way but really, I want a flatter field lens with less guesswork involved!

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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Is the Bower 14mm the same as the Samyang? They look like the same lens. When did camera gear get as cheap in Canada as it is in the USA?

    BOWER 14MM F2.8 WIDE ANGLE LENS NIKON SLY1428N

  47. #47
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Yes. Samyang is AKA Rokinon, Pro Optic and others. And speaking of decent wides, we may have another from Samyang within a couple months, the 24 T/S. Wouldn't that be nice.

  48. #48
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yea but who twisted your arm. ROTFLMAO
    Good point, touché!
    Jack
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  49. #49
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    I did a double take on this one Guy. I am at Zion now and the first outing brought me to the site of this tree. It was just begging to be photographed. I will try and post one of mine on the Fun with Nikon thread.

    Ben

    [QUOTE=Guy Mancuso;463478]Yea I trust there opinions but results are what counts and they seem very good.

    Here are some Zeiss 25mm F2 lens shots


  50. #50
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A decent wide for landscapes

    Love to see them.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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